History

Holy Vortvots Vorodman Church (The sons of thunderclap) and The Culture Center of Patriarch Mesrop Mutafyan

In 1641, Armenian Patriarchate was transported from Samatya to Kumkapı where it is located now.From 1641 till now,the chucrh opposite to Armenian Patriarchate has become the Holy Asdvadzadzin (Virgin Mary) Armenan Church.On 6th of July 1718 it was said that there was a big fire that lasted thirty hours and as the result of it fifty thousand houses were damaged and fifteen people died so as the Patriarchate and the church.A year after, with the effort of Patriarch of Jerusalem Krikor Şkhtayagir and Patriarch of Istanbul Hovhannes Golod and the support of Haci Seğpos,architects Haci Melidon Arapoğlu and Sarkis Kalfa seventy days time the church was rebuilt.It was blessed in 1719 and started to be known as Main Church.Holy Asdvadzadzin Church was actually planned like three churches next to each other.The South of Holy Asdvadzadzin was blessed as Holy Hagop and the North of Holy Asdvadzadzin was blessed as Holy Sarkis which was also called outside church.On 17th May 1762 Holy Asdvadadzin Church was badly damaged again by a big fire which lasted twenty four hours.The church was repaired in 1764 by the help of Istanbul Patriarch of the term Archbishop Hagop Nalyan (1706-1764) who was a famous theologian and a poet and his dear friend Grand Vizier Koca Ragıp Pasa (1669-1763).

The Patriarchate and the church were renewed on December 1819 by the effort of Patriarch Boğos from Edirne and the edict of Sultan Mahmud the second.Holy Asdvadzadzin and the two churches next to it, was opened to worship with a big ceremony on 25th of February 1820 with the names of Holy Hac and the South of Holy Vortvots Vorodman (the sons of thunderclap).This repairment was made by the architect Hovhannes Amira Serveryan who was the son-in-law of Krikor Amira Balyan.

A few years later,on 18th August 1826,Patriarchate and the representation of Jerusalem was again damaged by Hocapasa Fire and also the school which had been opened in 1790 was burned.With the effort of Kazaz Artin (Harutyun Amira Bezciyan)who was the dear friend and finacial supervisors of Sultan Mahmud The Second got a new repairment edict.Krikor Amira Balyan (1764-1831) and Haci Devlet Garabat Headworker prepared plan schemas and the churches were built as masonry.After the cermeony of groundbreaking on 10th February 1828,Holy Asdvadzadzin Main Church (Mother of God Virgin Mary),the North of it Holy Hac Church 1 ,Holy Hresdagabed (The Head Angel) and Holy Harutyun(Resurrection) Chapels which combined the two churches (but after, Holy Hresdagabed was destroyed)and under Holy Harutyun Chapel,Holy Toros Ayazma Chapel,the south of Main Church Holy Vortvots Vorodman Church 2 and Holy Hovhannes baptism Chapel which combines these two chapels were belessed and opened to worship on 14th October 1828.Kazaz Artin defrayed the half of the expenses which was three million-penny.Patriarchate and Representation building of Patrirachate of Jerusalem 3 next to it which were oppossite to the religious complex were renewed.However,during building religious complex, a classroom for poor children,two classrooms for learning carols,a pool for fire and rooms for indoor firefighters were built but a short time later,on the same place Main Varjaran (school) was built for the sake of dear hepler Bezciyan.In 1913,the old building of the school was destroyed and the building of today was built.

During the term of Kumkapı Virgin Mary Armenian Church board of directors ,who were selected with an election by community on 16th of November 2008,on 28th of December 2011 Vortvots Vorodman Church was opened with a religious and formal cermony and its restoration was made by the extent of 2010 European Cultural Capital Programme.Respectful Patriarch Mesrop Mutafyan the Second first mentioned about the restoration of this building and that's why Holy Vortvots Vorodman Church was named Mesrob Mutafyan Culture Center for the behalf of our respectful Patriatch.Vordvots Vorodman Church-Mesrob Mutafyan Culture Center will continue its religious function but also will be the new address of concerts and exhibitions with its valuable historical architecture and will have a special place at Istanbul's cultural life.

Dr.Elmon HANCER
Art Historian- Academician.